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Board of Directors

Paul R. Powers
Board President 
Athletic Administrator/Facilities Coordinator, Aurora City Schools
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2016 – July 31, 2018
(Class AA Representative, Northeast District)
Paul is a 1986 graduate of Chesterland West Geauga High School. He has been an athletic administrator for the past 24 years and is currently the director of athletics/facilities coordinator for the Aurora City School District. Before coming to Aurora in 2008, Paul spent 10 years as the director of athletics/student activities and special events for the Bedford City School District. He started his career in athletic administration in 1993 as the athletic director/community education director at his alma mater, West Geauga. Powers earned his bachelor’s degree in sport management from Ohio Northern University. In 2006, he became a certified athletic administrator through the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) and has successfully completed 34 of the 39 professional development training courses offered through the NIAAA. Besides his daily duties in which he oversees 71 teams in 23 sports and coordinates the scheduling of five buildings, Paul has been active in many professional organizations. He is currently the president of the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (OIAAA) and has been active with the OIAAA executive committee for the past seven years in various officer positions. He has also been a member of the Northeast District OIAAA for the past 22 years, served as that association’s president between 2009 and ’11 and is a longtime OHSAA tournament manager. Paul has been elected to the Northeast District Athletic Board (NEDAB) twice and is serving in his first term on the OHSAA Board of Directors. He is the NEDAB’s officiating chair. Paul is married to Kathi, who is superintendent for the Twinsburg City School District. They reside in Twinsburg with their cockapoo, Tanner.
Rhonda Rickelman
Board Vice President
Director of Auxiliary Planning, Gates Mills Gilmour Academy
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2016 – July 31, 2018
(Female Representative, Northeast District)
Rhonda is a 1974 graduate of Holy Name High School in Parma Heights. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education from Miami University in 1978 and a master’s degree in administration from Ursuline College in 1992. Rhonda began her career in education as a health and physical education teacher in 1978 at Notre Dame Academy, an all-girls school in Chardon. She later became
certified in computer science and also taught that for 10 years. In 1979, she was named Notre Dame Academy’s athletic director. When Notre Dame merged traditions with the now closed Cathedral Latin School to form a new co-educational school, Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin School in 1988, Rhonda became the athletic director of the new school and by 2000 helped the program grow to 13 varsity sports and 30 teams. In the transition to a co-ed program, she oversaw the building of a new gymnasium, football stadium and track, two baseball and softball fields and three soccer/football practice fields. From 1979 to 1992 she coached basketball and softball. In 2006, Rhonda was named athletic director at Magnificat High School in Rocky River. She held that position for eight years before accepting the position of director of auxiliary planning at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills in 2015. Rhonda was elected to the Northeast District Athletic Board in 2014. She has also worked with the Northeast Ohio Alliance of Catholic Athletic Administrators for 20 years and has been the treasurer of that group since 2006. This is her first term on the OHSAA State Board of Directors.
Tony Deem
Superintendent, Southern Local Schools, Racine
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2016 – July 31, 2018
(Class A Representative, Southeast District)

Tony is a 1984 graduate of Racine Southern High School. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in education from Rio Grande College in 1989 and a master’s degree in leadership studies from Marshall University in 1999. He began his career in education teaching middle school science and math at Clay Local Schools in Portsmouth from 1989 to 1993. While at Clay, Tony coached varsity soccer for two years and basketball for four. He then went to Eastern Local Schools in Reedsville where he taught seventh- and eighth-grade math and science from 1993 to 1998. He was head basketball coach during that time and also coached volleyball and softball. In 1998 he became the assistant principal at Pomeroy Meigs High School before taking the district’s elementary school principal’s job in 2002. Four years later, he returned to his alma mater, Southern Local, where he served as high school principal for a year before moving into his current position as the district’s superintendent in 2007. Tony was elected to the Southeast District Board in 2015. This is his first term on the OHSAA Board of Directors. He and his wife, Wendy, have been married for 26 years and have two sons and one daughter. Taylor and Trenton both attend the University of Rio Grande and Alison is a senior at Southern High School.
Bob Britton
Superintendent, Ridgedale Local Schools, Morral
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2017 – July 31, 2018
(Class A Representative, Central District)

Bob is a 1982 graduate of Colonel Crawford High School in North Robinson, Ohio. He graduated from Ohio Northern University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in health and physical education (K-12) and graduated from Ashland University with a master’s degree in education administration in 2000. Bob began his education career as a high school health and physical education teacher at St. Marys Memorial in 1987, and he also served as the boys junior varsity basketball coach and assistant varsity baseball coach. He moved to his alma mater, Colonel Crawford, in 1992 to become the varsity boys basketball coach and junior high physical education teacher. After spending the 1997-98 school year at Mansfield Madison Middle School, where he taught physical education and served as a freshmen football coach and assistant varsity basketball coach, the next year he became the high school physical education teacher, assistant athletic director and head boys varsity basketball coach at Marion Elgin High School. Bob began an eight-year stint as the Elgin High School principal in 2000 before moving to the Ridgedale Local Schools as superintendent, a position that he holds today. This is Bob’s second term on the Central District Athletic Board (CDAB) having served on the Board from 2004 to 2008 as the AA representative while at Elgin. In 2010, Bob was appointed to fulfill the unexpired term as the class A rep on the board and won re-election in the spring of 2015. In all, Bob has served on the CDAB for 11 years. This is Bob’s second term on the OHSAA Board of Directors, having served during the 2007-2008 school year. Bob and his wife Ingrid have been married for 21 years and are the parents of three children. Monroe is currently in college, and Madison and Mckinley both attend Ridgedale High School, where they are actively involved in all aspects of high school life.
Kevin Katafias
Principal, Genoa Middle School
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2017 – July 31, 2019
(7th-8th Grade Representative, Northwest District)

Kevin is a 1977 graduate of Toledo Central Catholic High School. He graduated from the University of Toledo in 1981 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing. He obtained a teaching license in 1989 from UT and a master’s degree in educational administration in 1995. Kevin began his teaching career at Central Catholic as a social studies teacher in 1989 and also served as a freshman baseball coach and equipment manager. In 1995 he moved to administration, becoming the assistant principal/athletic director at Genoa High School. Kevin became the principal at Genoa Middle School in 1999, and he still serves in that capacity. A registered contest official in Ohio for 40 years, Kevin has officiated football and 11 basketball and has earned several state tournament assignments in both sports. He was recently inducted into the Northwest District Basketball Officials Association Hall of Fame. Elected as the 7th-8th Grade Representative to the OHSAA’s Northwest District Athletic Board in 2007 and re-elected in 2015, Kevin has served as vice president of that board. This is his first term on the OHSAA Board of Directors. Kevin has been married to Donna for 13 years and they reside in Genoa. He has a daughter Katie and son-in-law Joel, and he is the grandfather to Vera (3) and Lydia (1).
John Knonour
Superintendent, Northeastern Local Schools, Springfield
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2017 – July 31, 2019
(Class AA Representative, Southwest District)

John is a 1981 graduate of Brookville High School, where he also began his teaching, coaching and administrative career. He graduated from Wright State University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education and from the University of Dayton in 1993 with a master’s degree in educational administration. He obtained his doctoral degree in educational leadership also from the University
of Dayton in 2004. “Doc” began his educational career in Brookville, teaching seventh and eighth grade language arts and mathematics. He coached both football and basketball from junior high to varsity assistant positions in his seven years of teaching. John moved into administration at Brookville as the assistant high school principal and athletic director for a year-and-a-half before becoming the middle school principal at Brookville. He served in that role for two-and-a-half years before going to Oakwood Junior High School in suburban Dayton, where he served as principal for the next nine-and-a-half years. During his time at Oakwood, John was also a part-time kindergarten principal and director of technology of the district. He then moved on to the Tipp City Schools as superintendent for the next eight-and-a-half years before retiring in 2015. He returned immediately to a superintendent’s position after being hired Aug. 1, 2015, at Northeastern Local in Clark County. In addition to his career in education, John has also served as a registered OHSAA basketball official for the past 25 years. Elected to the Southwest District Athletic Board in 2008 as a Class AA representative, John is a past president of the SWDAB. This is his first term on the OHSAA Board of Directors. John and his wife, Karen, are newly married and have seven children in all, Bobby (23) Casey (20) Sam (20), Bailey (19), Cara (17), Kellen (14) and Camden (9). They live in the Northeastern school district, where the last three children are active in academics, athletics and the arts. The first four are all in college with varying interests.
Mark LaFon
Athletic Director and Head Boys Basketball Coach, Ironton High School
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2017 – July 31, 2019
(Ethnic Minority Representative, Southeast District)

Mark is a 1988 graduate of Chesapeake High School, where he was recently selected to the school’s athletic hall of fame. He continued his athletic career at the University of Rio Grande as a basketball and baseball recruit, and he completed his bachelor’s degree in education in 1992. Mark began his career in education at his alma mater, Chesapeake. He taught high school history and coached boys and girls basketball, cross country and golf. In 1998, he was named head boys basketball coach at South Point High School and later
was appointed assistant principal in the school district. After six years at South Point, Mark moved to Ironton High School to become head boys basketball coach and assistant principal. During this time, Mark completed his master’s degree in education at Ohio University. As the head coach, he has earned district and state coach-of-the-year honors as well as accolades for total career wins. Under his leadership, Ironton has won five district titles and made an OHSAA state tournament appearance in 2013. In 2009, Mark added the duties of director of athletics at Ironton High. He is also co-owner of Spare Time Recreation in Ironton and has a background in real estate. He was elected to serve on the Southeast District Athletic Board in 2011 and is in his first term on the OHSAA Board of Directors. Mark and his wife Angie, an elementary school principal for the Dawson-Bryant Local Schools, have two daughters, Samantha and Avery.
Joe Roberts
Athletics and Activities Director, Lexington High School
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2017 – July 31, 2019
(Class AAA Representative, Northwest District)

Joe is a 1993 graduate of Lexington High School and a 1998 graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and was the head student manager of the men’s basketball team under Head Coach Bob Huggins. He then earned his master’s degree in education/sports administration at Xavier University in 2001 while continuing to work in the University of Cincinnati’s athletics department in development and promotions. His work at the interscholastic level began in 2002 as the athletic administrator at Kings Junior High School in Kings Mills. After a year there, Joe moved to Alexandria, Ky., and spent four years as the athletic administrator for the Campbell County School District before moving to Lebanon High School as the athletic administrator from 2007 to 2011. After a year off to work in business, Joe was hired at his alma mater, Lexington High School, in 2013 to serve as athletics and activities director. Elected to the OHSAA’s Northwest District Athletic Board in 2014, Joe is that board’s coordinator for girls soccer, swimming & diving and softball. He is also an executive officer as the Northwest District representative for the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (OIAAA). This is his first term on the OHSAA Board of Directors. Joe became a certified athletic administrator (CAA) in 2005. Joe resides in Lexington with his wife Kendra, who teaches special education at Pioneer Career & Technology Center in Shelby. They have two children, daughter Sophia (11) and son Sammy (10).
Walt Skaggs
Superintendent/High School Principal, St. Clairsville-Richland City School District
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2017 – July 31, 2018
(Class AAA Representative, East District)

Walt is a 1987 graduate of Shadyside High School. He received his bachelor’s degree from Muskingum College in 1991 in clinical psychology and his master’s degree in education administration from the University of Dayton in 1992. He then completed additional coursework through Franciscan University to receive his superintendent’s license before completing his doctoral degree in education administration through Ohio University in the spring of 2016. Upon graduation from Muskingum, Walt accepted a graduate assistant position at Ohio Northern University, where he served as assistant coach for the sports of football, wrestling and softball and was the head strength and conditioning coach. He began his teaching and coaching career in 1994 at Lima Senior High School, where he taught developmentally handicapped students, was a varsity football assistant (1996 Division I state champions) and the head coach for wrestling and tennis. In 1997, he moved back to Belmont County when he accepted the position of assistant principal at St. Clairsville High School. He has also served as an assistant varsity football coach and has actively participated in the youth wrestling program. Walt became principal at the high school in 2000 and served in that capacity for eight years before becoming superintendent in June of 2008 for the St. Clairsville-Richland City School District. In 2010, Walt assumed, and currently performs, the dual duties of superintendent and high school principal. Dr. Skaggs began serving on the East District Athletic Board in 2008 (president from 2013-15). He is also a member of the executive board of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference (president 2013-15) and the Buckeye Association of School Administrators. This is his third term on the OHSAA Board of Directors, having filled one-year terms for unexpired positions in 2009-10 and 2015-16. In addition, he was the co-founder of the Buckeye 8 Athletic League, where he served as president from 2003-2008. Walt is an active Rotarian and is currently heading up the district’s building project. Walt resides in St. Clairsville with his wife, Denise. They are the proud parents of two sons, Cole, a sophomore student-athlete at West Virginia Wesleyan College, and Reese, a freshman student-athlete at St. Clairsville High School.
Bruce Brown
Executive Director, Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association
State Board of Directors Since August 1, 2013
(Ex-Officio, Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association)

Bruce is a 1968 graduate of the former Pleasant View High School (now Galloway Westland) and received his Bachelor of Education degree from Bowling Green State University. He received his master’s degree in education along with his Ohio educational administration certification from Ashland University in 2002. Bruce began his career in education and coaching at Hubbard High School in 1972 and then became head boys basketball coach at Columbus Franklin Heights in 1973. He continued his coaching career over the next two decades including a stint as assistant men’s basketball coach at Bowling Green State University from 1981-84. His high school teams earned over 220 victories during his head coaching career. In 1998, he assumed the dual role of head basketball coach and athletic administrator at Uniontown Lake High School and then became exclusively the athletic 12 administrator and facilities coordinator in 1999 until retiring after the 2013-14 school year. Since starting at Lake, he has been involved with many aspects of the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (OIAAA). In the spring of 2012, he was selected as the first executive director of the OIAAA and remains in that capacity today. At the national level, Bruce has been involved with the National Federation of State High School Associations’ Coach Education Program and has presented at several national conferences. He continues to work closely with the OHSAA in the development of the Ohio Coach Education Program along with leadership training and certification for athletic administrators. In 2007, he was named “Ohio Athletic Director of Year” by the OIAAA and was the recipient of the NFHS’ “Citation Award” in 2015. In 2011, he was chosen as the national “Coach Educator of the Year” by the NFHS. Bruce and his wife, Cindy, reside in Strasburg. They have four children (Blaire, Megan, Logan and Lauren) and two grandchildren (Kendra and Graham).
Jeremy Marks
Director, Office for Federal Programs, Ohio Department of Education
State Board of Directors Since February 1, 2014
(Ex-Officio, Ohio Department of Education Representative)

Jeremy became the director of the Office of Federal Programs at the Ohio Department of Education in January 2014 after being named interim director in August 2013. He has over 20 years of state and federal legislative and policy experience and has been a key staff member for the Ohio Department of Education since January 2001. Prior to being named director, Jeremy served 10 years as the federal legislative liaison at the Ohio Department of Education, developing and advocating the federal legislative recommendations to Congress and federal stakeholders. In addition to managing the agency’s federal education advocacy, he spearheaded the agency’s implementation of one-time federal funds; administered the agency’s Controlling Board requests; coordinated the development of federal applications and guidance, and ran the state’s participation in the U.S. Green Ribbon schools competition. Prior to service at the Ohio Department of Education, Jeremy served between 1998 and 2001 as a legislative liaison for the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs, senior legislative aide to the chairman of the Transportation and Public Safety Committee at the Ohio House of Representatives and a Legislative Service Commission fellow. Jeremy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, with a concentration in business administration, in 1994 from Ohio University, where he minored in Spanish. He and his wife, Michelle, reside in Columbus.